Ulysse Nardin has appointed Patrick Pruniaux, who joins from Apple, as its new CEO. His term starts on August 28.

He replaces Patrik P. Hoffmann, who, according to a press statement released by the brand, left “to move in a new direction for personal reasons”.

Before Pruniaux joined Apple, he was with TAG Heuer for nine years starting 2005, and held different posts – the most notable of which was vice-president of Global Sales and Retail in 2010. He left TAG Heuer to join Apple in 2014 to help launch the Apple Watch. He most recently worked as Apple’s country manager for the UK and Ireland, and as a member of the brand’s Executive Committee.

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The Apple connection is interesting, and may signal a potential turning of the tides for Ulysse Nardin, with perhaps a smartwatch in the horizon.

In a press release, Albert Bensoussan, CEO of Kering Luxury – Watches and Jewellery division, praised Pruniaux, saying: “His in-depth knowledge of the watchmaking sector, from product innovation to customer relations, and distribution, will be an important asset in the ongoing drive to develop this watchmaking house, building on its cutting-edge technical expertise and unique identity.”

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Ulysse Nardin, a high-end watch company, was acquired by the Kering group in 2014. Kering owns a host of luxury brands in its portfolio, including Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Stella McCartney, and Girard-Perregaux.

Ulysse Nardin made headlines earlier this year, when it left Baselworld in favour of Salon Internationale de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH). Girard-Perregaux marked a return to SIHH after it first departed for Baselworld in 2013.